Glamping on the Farm
Although Farmstays must be in the primary residence or guest house, there are farms that would like to offer an alternative experience like "Glamping."
What is glamping? It is a combination of glamorous and camping - no ordinary tent camping. But in this case, you could offer 'ordinary tent' camping, yurts and other non-standard construction buildings, too. Read on...
Not Farm Stays
Special Occupancy Parks
These types of arrangements are called Special Occupancy Parks (SOP) are are regulated by the state department of Housing & Community Development. However, the county Permit & Resource Management Department requires a Conditional Use Permit for SOP's, so you will need to work with both the county and the state to get permitted.
The following agricultural zones allow for Special Occupancy Parks with a Conditional Use Permit:
- LEA* - Land Extensive Agriculture, max 30 sites
- DA* - Diverse Agriculture, max 30 sites
- RRD - Rural & Resource Development
See the links to the specific zoning codes for more details (search for campground).
*General Plan Policy AR-6e requires agriculture to be the primary use on ag zoned parcels (LIA, LEA, DA), therefore the parcel would need to have an active agricultural operation that is more prominent than the SOP.
SOP's are not allowed on:
- LIA - Land Intensive Agriculture
- AR - Agriculture Residential
- Parcels under Williamson Act Contract
Water & Septic
The facility will need water and septic. In addition to the process to obtain a use permit and a permit to operate, the septic system will be the biggest challenge. Visit Permit Sonoma's Well & Septic Systems page.
- Licensing and Certification information and application.
- HCD's Special Occupancy Park Plan Review Booklet (pdf) HCD MP 514 Rev 5-09
- The cabin/tent cabin allows a maximum of 400 square feet.
- Title 25 building code requirements for permanent buildings (a bit less stringent than regular building code).
- Requirements for Accessory Buildings & Structures Parks–Awning Enclosure 11-12
Procedure with Housing & Community Development
- Apply for a Permit to Operate for one year
- The fee is per campsite
- HCD will send an inspector once they receive sign off by the county
- The permit is to be renewed annually
Of Additional Interest
- Hipcamp Landshare - rural accommodations marketing site - If you are legally permitted to offer camping, cabins, or any kind of farm stay or guest ranch on your land, these San Francisco based folks may be good marketing partners.